Friday, 3 December 2010

Another cold day, another post

Lethargic. Bored. Uninspired.
This grueling task of writing has been taking its toll, so I have a selection of new photographs showing some british wool, and part of my dissertation, that I received for my birthday (unfortunately I do not know the type). It is rather coarse and seems to work well when felting. Anyway, here are some images:

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Snowy Isolation

As commonly aware, there has been a very large amount of snow all over the country during the past week. Unfortunately, this meant that I was stranded in another town for a few days, with only a limited bag of supplies. Thankfully my knitting was included in this bag and I spent two days knitting in a hotel room. I had recently made one mitten from the book 'Knitting 24/7' and felt reluctant to begin the matching one. Boredom struck and being productive is better than staring at the wall. I was surprised at how simple this pattern was - the fair isle stitch pattern was very easy to pick up (the creation of a pattern made it feel less repetitive after knitting past the thumb opening), and the time it took was relatively quick taking the 4-ply sock wool into account.

After finishing, blocking and admiring the pair of mittens in my room, the idea of making a fleece lined headband/ear warmer popped into my head. Even after numerous hours of knitting I still seemed to have itchy fingers. I only just finished the headband today, after managing to make it home and celebrate my birthday. I simply took the 33 stitch repeat and doubled it, picked up the side stitches afterwards and knitted a circumference to fit my head. I am rather pleased with the end results.

Also, I feel I need to include this photograph (I have never seen icicles so big!):

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A lot of knitting.

Lately, I have been quite busy. Whether this is due to general inspiration, or purely down to procrastination regarding my dissertation, we may never know (or until my hand in date). One of the things I am finding with spinning is the vast amount of time needed for fibre preparation, and its importance in the whole spinning process. Among the collection of fibre I keep stashed in my cupboard I have some soya bean fibres - a beautiful pale gold colour with the lustre of silk.

The long process of carding has guided me towards spinning directly from the roving, and whether the rules of spinning allow me to do so or not, I have attempted. So far so good.

I was considering keeping this yarn as a single instead of plying it, although I am unsure about the qualities of the soya bean fibres, so we may have a bit of a surprise after I set the twist in this one. Hopefully not.

Yet again, I think this will end up knitted into some kind of neck piece. These pieces are multifunctional for my personal wear and current studio work at the moment (on right: Little Boat at Sea cowl as soft platform). There is something wrong when you are knitting purely for aesthetic qualities, particularly with a handspun yarn. Too much time has been laboured into it to keep it simply as an object or decoration. The fabric needs to be touched and appreciated. However, it is enjoyable to see your finished piece in a different light, with a different use and with completely different ideas.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Little Boat at Sea

Here is my new yarn. After a few hours and minor repetitive strain I have achieved something that has worked well. Other than losing the function of pinching in my fingers, I think it was worth it.

Below, this yarn has been knitted into a long cowl which you can wear doubled up (like shown) or as one long piece, or wrapped around the neck three times. The blend of silk makes this yarn very soft and the silk catches the light. There is something interesting about knitting a cowl - whether it is the instant enjoyment you experience after knitting a quick piece, or the versatility of the item. I can say that it is easy to get hooked on making these and I am beginning to build up quite a collection.

Monday, 18 October 2010

It has been some time...

Over the past few months I have been busy working and saving and here is the result:

Ashford Joy (if a little blurry).

In my last photographic post I displayed a photo of some drop spindle spun yarn. Now, faster spinning - more wool shall be spun :D

So far it is going well. A little tricky to master the hand movement and treadling to begin with, but we'll get there! I am currently working on a silk/merino mix in sandy colours with a hint of sky blue and bright red. Hand carding is taking some time so I have my eye on a drum carder for my next fibre related purchase.

Friday, 19 March 2010

The pain of writing

Ok, so blogging is fair enough, but critical writing...well that's something different. We have been asked to form a contextual review about the influences for our work in the studio and it is CLEARLY stated that we cannot talk about our actual studio work. This has been such a drag. Sewing and knitting has been replaced by reading and writing, and although it has given me time to express my views on knitting within art, I haven't had much time to make anything.
I have been getting craft withdrawal. So, hopefully over the next few weeks, after my dissertation proposal has been submitted I will have craft time again!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Niddy Noddy

After realising my obsession with all things woolen, I decided to learn how to spin my own. This is my first attempt - some raspberry merino wool. I'm sure there will be many more photos to come.

Monday, 8 February 2010


I have started this blog in order to document things I've seen, made and basically to have another creative outlet. I will be posting some photos and texts about my studio work and exhibitions I have seen, as well as some other things too.